Help connecting HRM

I am trying to connect a HRM in advance of the Half Monty and Full Frontal tests this week. I have a new Garmin HRM and Ant+ stick. I am running windows with a Kickr Bike.

No issues connecting the bike to my laptop via Bluetooth. But the Ant+ shows as OFF when I launch a ride. I have put the HRM on via the instructions but I can’t get it to connect nor can I get Ant+ to switch on inside the program.

Can the software only run one connection method (Bluetooth or Ant+) but not both? any help?

I have no idea, but wonder if you unplug the bike and try to connect your ant devices first whether you’d learn anything helpful.

Are you plugging the Ant+ stick directly into the USB port on your computer or are you using a USB extension cord? For anyone using Ant+ the general recommendation is always to get an extension cord for it so you can place the stick (aka dongle) near your trainer (ie nearer to you than your PC).

Edit: aren’t the new Garmin HRM dual broadcast (ie. bluetooth AND Ant+)?
2nd Edit: I can run both Bluetooth and Ant+ from the app (ie. both are “ON”)

Thought I’d add another thing rather than a 3rd edit of my first post :stuck_out_tongue:

Garmin Express is notorious for stealing the Ant+ connection. You want to make sure that it is OFF (or better yet, that it doesn’t auto start when you start your computer).

I run a Garmin Dual HRM. I’ve run it both ant+ and BT and it lets me run my trainer either ant+ or BT also. Never had an issue.

1 Like

How do you turn them on and off? I can’t find that setting–although that might be because my device doesn’t have Ant+

1 Like

You don’t actually “turn” it on or off. If you have an Ant+ dongle and your device is picking up the signal, it will show as On. Same for Bluetooth but for that most devices have a toggle switch or some kind. It’s not in the app setting but if your device has Bluetooth off, then the app will show it as Off.

Does this make sense?

Yes and I have both an old and new Garmin HRM. The new one is not being picked up by the BT, even if I click on the discover devices.

My Ant+ is not picking up either HRM. I do have it plugged directly into my laptop. When I first plugged it in, it installed and gave me the usual message that it was ready to use. Also, I don’t have Garmin Express on this laptop.

1 Like

Totally makes sense. I thought you were turning things on and off in the app. My devices don’t have Ant+ and I don’t have a dongle so I never see that. I am expert with turning Bluetooth on and off!

1 Like

Thanks for the additional info.

So, I’d try a few things.

First I’d try to resolve the Bluetooth (in my experience it’s a much more reliable connection…though some folks have the opposite experience but ymmv). I wonder if the Bluetooth HRM is being nabbed by another app (garmin connect, Zwift, Strava) either running in the background of your PC or your mobile phone. Most devices (hrm, cadence sensor, speed sensor, trainer, headphones etc) only allow one connection to it and once that’s done, other apps won’t be able to find it or connect to it.

Glen.Coutts the only thing that might be stealing the connection is my Garmin Fenix 5, although I have never paired it to the watch and it doesn’t seem to be connected. I intentionally kept this laptop clear of any other programs so no Garmin Connect or Strava and never had Zwift. And my phone is upstairs in my office. I may shut it off just to check that off the list.

I also swapped out the battery on both for a new one just in case. Still nothing.

Keep shooting me any new ideas. Something is bound to work eventually.

Does it connect to other devices? Maybe try your headset to see if the HRM is actually working. If it is, “forget” the connection and try other things with the useful knowledge that the HRM works. If it doesn’t, check the battery. Sometimes new devices ship with the battery upside down or with a paper strip inserted to prevent them from drawing down before the consumer unpacks it.

Have you tried turning Bluetooth off on your phone before trying “add new device” in the SYSTM app?

Also, it helps to be really close to your PC for that initial pairing.

Also, and this is level 1 Windows support advice: have you tried turning your computer off, then on again?

We have success!!!

I uninstalled the Ant+ driver and reinstalled one I downloaded online. With that I was able to to get Systm to see the older of the two HRMs. Still no luck on the new one but I have one that is working, Yeah!

I can have this available for the two tests this week.

Thanks to all for the ideas and assistance. As per usual, awesome group here.


glad you got one but an odd result. If you are going to be using Ant+ going forward, I’d strongly recommend an extension cord for the Ant+ dongle. I also hope you can get the Bluetooth thing resolved.

As mentioned, I did get the old HRM to connect. I have been trying to get the newer one to do the same. I changed the battery just because to one I know was good. I tried to connect it but the software did not find it. so two questions for someone who may have some insight.

  1. Do I need to disconnect the old HRM from Ant+ before I try to connect the new one? Is it only looking for the old one and blocking the connection as a result.

  2. If I still can’t get it to connect, is there any way to test if a HRM is actually working properly?


I’d try connecting it to your bike computer with nothing else around to distract. That should tell you if the HRM works.

Not sure what you mean by “bike computer”. i am using a Kickr bike which has no computer. I run Systm off a laptop. That was the basis of my first question,

When I launch Systm it is looking for my bike via blue tooth and my old HRM via Ant+. Is the Ant+ looking for the old HRM prohibiting it from finding the new HRM?

Don’t you have an outdoor bike with a garmin or Wahoo ELEMNT or something? That’s what I meant. If you can connect your HRM to that, it works.

Sorry, very old school. Nothing connected to my roadie or tri bike. I have routes and route sections that I combine for my rides. I know how long it should take and how I am riding based on that. The advantage (or disadvantage based on perspective) of being a complete numbers geek. :nerd_face: